I have an amazingly accurate and keen memory. Smells, situations, conversations and confrontations remain sharply intact in the recesses of my brain. The cologne of a stranger on a crowded metro train will bring memories of an ex tumbling forth, and studying always came very easy to me. After rereading a notebook once or twice, I had the material emblazed in my brain. Of course, the ability to recall things with such ease has a downfall; I have a hard time pushing hurtful things out of my brain. Even minor barbs, long forgotten by whoever said them, play over and over.
My friend B was my high school boy friend. It pleases me to no end that we still love each other despite all our early sexual fumblings. God, how I wish I could forget those… He always marvels at my ability to recall the most minute details of our relationship. (Synopsis: I was pushy and stubborn. B was patient and saintly.) He wishes I could forget that he ruined the end of a “farewell to Arms” for me (asshole!) or the first time we got drunk and smoked pot, but I never will. Thank you, B, for being part of my downward slide.
B’s mom was a great cook and things were much different food-wise at his house than mine. I have memories of consuming the exotic fare of Chinese chicken salad and hummus for the first time at his house, as well as cous cous…
Ever since my virgin cous cous voyage, I have been in love. It’s a go to side for me, as well as an easy dish to prepare for a cookout of potluck. This cous cous dish was part of my birthday dinner with Irish lebowski. Served warm, it was a surprisingly filling and healthy side due to the black beans and tomatoes. We made this with cous cous as it was much easier on a week night, but quinoa would be excellent and especially appealing to vegetarians. I took some home as left overs, threw a handful of green beans on top, and happily ate this as a healthy lunch for two days. For ease, we used a can of diced tomatoes instead of fresh. (Weird fact: the canning process actually makes tomatoes healthier.) The original recipe calls for scallions, but due to Irish’s severe aversion to anything onion, those were left out. This was great without them, but I suggest trying them for added depth of flavor.
Black Bean and Tomato Cous Cou/Quinoa
Adapted from Gourmet
2 teaspoons grated lime zest
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup quinoa or box plain cous cous
1 (14- to 15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
2 medium tomatoes, diced
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
Whisk together lime zest and juice, butter, oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4teaspoon pepper in a large bowl.
Wash quinoa in 3 changes of cold water in a bowl, draining in a sieve each time OR prepare box of cous cous.
(If making quinoa: Cook quinoa in a medium pot of boiling salted water (1 tablespoon salt for 2 quarts water), uncovered, until almost tender, about 10 minutes. Drain in sieve, then set sieve in same pot with 1 inch of simmering water (water should not touch bottom of sieve). Cover quinoa with a folded kitchen towel, then cover sieve with a lid (don’t worry if lid doesn’t fit tightly) and steam over medium heat until tender, fluffy, and dry, about 10 minutes. Remove pot from heat and remove lid. Let stand, still covered with towel, 5 minutes.)
Add cous cous/quinoa to dressing and toss until dressing is absorbed, then stir in remaining ingredients and salt and pepper to taste.